Western Balkan countries will require that no EU travel permits be introduced

Nikola Dimitrov; Photo: European Union

SKOPJE – Macedonia closely follows developments under the European Commission’s initiative, where third world country nationals who do not need a visa to enter the European Union, from 2020 will need to apply for a travel permit before arriving in the EU, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, after meeting with Kosovo Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli.

When asked whether Macedonia plans to react to the Council of Europe for the proposed measure and whether it will respond with reciprocal measures, Dimitrov said that “if we want to be part of the EU and the Schengen zone then freedom of movement is especially important.”

“We will do everything that there is no further difficulty in freedom of movement. I will talk to all of my colleagues from the region, to find a way to show that additional burdens on freedom of movement are not helpful. I hope that we will come to an understanding. What specifically will come out of it, we will see”, said Dimitrov.

Pacolli reiterated that Kosovo should not remain a black hole in Europe and voiced hope that in 2018 Kosovo citizens will receive visa liberalization.

The new European Travel and Authorisation System (ETIAS) should provide advanced checks on visa-free travelers and those who are considered to be security risks. Before going to the EU, citizens will have to pay 10 euros for internet access to obtain a travel permit for the Union.